Cosmic Cuisine: Black Panther Claws

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These Black Panther claws pastries (our twist on a bear claw recipe) are the perfect way to celebrate the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in theaters on November 11th. The Black Panther may have claws of vibranium, but I guarantee the people of Wakanda would love to have some of these too. These sweet pastries are the perfect way to start the day as you sip a cup of tea or coffee and survey your domain. They also taste great at the end of the day as you watch the sunset. Or really any time you want something tasty to indulge with.

The best part is, our panther claws are rich enough for a king but are secretly super easy to make. Everyone will be impressed with your amazingly soft and flaky pastries. It’s up to you if you want to keep your mystery like Wakanda or let them in on the secret.

Yield: One Dozen

Black Panther Claws

Black Panther Claws

Delicious, flakey almond-flavored pastries perfect with a hot coffee or cup of tea as you relax and take in the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (8 count) OR 2 cans crescent roll sheets
  • slivered almonds

Filling

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tsp almond extract

Glaze

  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Icing

  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl beat the egg. Place half the egg in a second small bowl (about 1½ Tablespoons) add milk and beat until blended. Set aside for later.
  3. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the egg in the medium bowl. Stir until well blended.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one package of crescent rolls/sheet (keep the second package in the refrigerator until needed). If using rolls, press perforations together until you have a solid, rectangular sheet approximately 12"x8".
  5. Using a pizza cutter, divide the dough into six even sections approximately 6"x2.66" (cut three times on the short side and then cut the long strips in half).
  6. Spoon filling into a strip down the center of each rectangle.
  7. Fold the bottom third up over the filling. Then fold the top third down over the pastry. Seal the seam.
  8. Gently flatten the pastry onto the baking sheet, then make 3 incisions about half the depth of the pastry along one of the long sides of the pastry. Gently spread incisions apart to make "toes".
  9. Lightly brush with egg-milk wash. Place one almond sliver on each toe for a "claw". Repeat for each of the pastry rectangles.
  10. Remove the second package of dough from the fridge and repeat steps 4 through 9.
  11. Bake pastries for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack and cool for five minutes.
  12. While they're baking mix the glaze ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat.
  13. After they've cooled for five minutes brush glaze over each pastry and leave to cool completely.
  14. Once the pastries are completely cooled, mix the icing ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Slowly add water and adjust until the icing is thin enough to drizzle but not runny. Drizzle icing over the cooled pastries and enjoy!

Notes

The dough will become difficult to work with if it becomes too warm so keep the second package in the fridge until ready to use. Also, don't worry too much about perfectly closing the seal. the filling is very firm and won't leak out of a bad seal.

 A few tools that make a big difference for your Black Panther claws

Every cook develops their own tricks and tools that help them out in the kitchen. Parchment paper is one of my favorite tools when I’m baking. Nothing sticks to it! Okay, sometimes things stick, but you have to burn them really badly to make them stick. Even the egg wash on the panther claws didn’t stick, and egg loves to stick to everything. I’ve gone on and on at great lengths in other recipes about parchment paper so I’ll stop now but just remember, always use parchment paper when baking.

Another tool that doesn’t get enough credit in the kitchen is the pizza cutter. Most people hear “pizza” and think that’s all this simple tool is good for, but it can do so much more! A pizza cutter is great for cutting anything that is delicate or could be pulled by a regular knife. I cut sandwiches and quesadillas for my kids with them all the time. Zip, zip, and I’m done. Pizza cutters are also great for cutting up the dough in long strips, like with these panther claws. The next time you need to cut something in the kitchen, consider your pizza cutter.

Black Panther Claws assembly (bear claw recipe)
LtR: Brushing an egg wash onto the pastries. A finished pastry prior to baking. Baked claws being drizzled with icing.

A pastry brush is another tool that many people overlook in the kitchen. They’re perfect for brushing butter on pastries and bread. But they work wonderfully for putting any kind of sauce on any food. I use mine for spreading barbeque sauce into every nook and cranny of ribs, getting garlic oil to fully cover garlic bread, and evenly painting food coloring on baked goods, among other things. It’s also perfect in this recipe for making sure that the pastries are, first, covered in egg wash, and second, are perfectly and evenly glazed.

Keep your cool

Whenever you are baking with butter-based dough, the temperature is very important. Most of the time you want to keep your dough as cold as possible. By keeping the dough very cold, the butter and heat will react when you bake it to give your pastry a lot of rise. If the dough gets too warm the butter will leak out when baking and the pastry will be flat and spread out. Even though this recipe doesn’t use homemade dough there is still butter in the crescent roll dough and it needs to be kept cold.

The dough will also become sticky and hard to work with if it is too warm. If you find yourself having a hard time working with the dough just put it in the fridge for a few minutes and it should firm right back up. Then you can finish making the panther claws. If the dough feels sticky when you’re about to bake them, consider putting them in the fridge for a few minutes before popping them in the oven.

Avoiding assembly problems with these Black Panther claws

First off, make sure that if you weren’t able to find the full sheet of crescent dough that the perforations are fully closed. If they aren’t pinched back together completely they will tear back apart as you roll up the panther claws and it will look very messy (note, they will still bake and taste just fine, but they won’t look nearly as nice).

Black Panther claws filling for bear claws recipe
Left: The filling mixed together. Right: Place the filling in the center of each pastry.

Secondly, don’t overfill the panther claws. I understand the desire to have a nice, full pastry. In fact, I admit to falling victim to this pitfall myself. But if you overfill your Black Panther claws then it will be very difficult to roll them up. The filling will be falling out and sticking to everything and it will look awful. If you do overfill one, try your best to close it up and just put less on the rest of them. Attempting to remove the filling after you start rolling the pastry up will most likely make the mess worse (don’t ask how I know…) so just do your best to close that one and keep moving forward. 

The really good thing is that these were surprisingly forgiving pastries and even ones that looked really bad going into the oven came out looking pretty nice. So don’t get stressed out too much about how they look. It’s not like you have to take pictures of them, they just need to taste good!

Mixing up this variant of a bear claw recipe

These Black Panther claws were great with just the traditional bear claw almonds but there are a lot of different ways they could be changed up for something different. For instance, instead of icing, try drizzling chocolate over the top of the finished Black Panther claws. A half cup of dried cherries in the filling would be amazing too. Some orange peels boiled in the glaze and orange juice instead of water in the icing would be another great twist. Try any or all of these changes, or feel free to come up with some of your own.

This recipe offers a real opportunity to punch up the flavor because it’s such a basic pallet. Almond is a gentle enough base that lots of other flavors can be paired with it. I only have two cautions. First off, don’t add more than one or two flavors. It can be tempting to add a ton of different flavors, more is better right? But too many flavors become overwhelming and nothing stands out to give the pastry a distinctive personality.

Secondly, the filling has a somewhat dry consistency. Try to use ingredients that keep the filling at that same level of dryness. Adding too much moisture will make it heavy and wet and the pastry won’t cook properly. But if the filling becomes much drier it will feel like eating sawdust. So keep those in mind if you make any changes to the recipe. Otherwise, have fun!

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever claws into theaters on November 11. Are you excited about the film? Do you plan on making some Black Panther claws? Let us know on The Cosmic Circus Discord or Twitter. And if you haven’t already, check out one of the last month’s Cosmic Cuisine, Witch’s Brew!

Cosmic Cuisine: Witch’s Brew

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